Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Science Fictional Perspectives - and favorite individual SCENES from movies?

Alert!  The New Horizons spacecraft is just 49 days away from Ultima Thule! On New Year's morning. After that spectacular Pluto fly-by a few years ago, you are getting your money's worth from the few bucks of taxes you spent on this spacecraft. But, then, you almost always get vast returns on our shared endeavors in science and doing glorious things. You will get a disease sometime that is treatable because we do this. Do not let dour snarlers talk you out of acknowledging what mighty beings we can be. Already great.

Becoming greater by the day.

Before diving in to lots of news and controversy about science fiction… … here’s some interesting science for you. It seems that researchers surveyed readers of science fiction and fantasy score better than readers of any other genre on having “realistic attitudes about relationships.

I've long held that SF has generally been more enlightened than its time. Blatantly, many of today’s authors and fans are seeking to use our exploratory, courageous genre to push those horizons even farther, and that’s terrific! 

The only quibble I have is with any rage against those earlier waves in sci fi, calling them 'repressive,' when each generation of SF authors were – on average – bold at challenging assumptions in their own eras. Notwithstanding some genuine troglodytes and their racist/sexist works (you can always find anecdotes and particular villains), the field is – and was – ahead of its time, even in the eras of H. G. Wells, Mary Shelley, Alice Sheldon and Edward Page Mitchell, C.L. Moore and Leigh Brackett. We can wince at many of the Cro-Magnon infelicities of 1950s or 1980s sci fi, for sure! But failing to put them in context is a form of unreasoning hate that blinds us to what many of those creators were.  Fighters for justice and pioneers.

Spreading the blather around, my Wordpress blog now carries my riff about the Animated Storyboard, a concept that – if done properly (no one has, yet)  could unleash a wave of cinematic creativity like none yet seen, liberating small, writer-led teams to create vivid dramas, whether as first drafts or as final works of popular art. Some recent offerings suggest this day may be about to dawn.

== Favorite scenes from movies ==

We have favorite movies. What of individual scenes? I look back and find that most of my most-loved were moments when the music almost took over. Sure visuals and story were vital in each of these. But music brought your emotions to a peak.

In reverse order:
- Lawrence bringing Gassim into camp off the Nefud desert.
- Zulu warriors chanting a macho pas de deux vs. singing Welsh soldiers at Roarke’s Drift.
- Diva’s Aria in The Fifth Element.
- “Theology/Civilization”... Conan with Subotai… powerfully reprised when Subotai comes to save him from the Tree of Woe.
- “The White Tree” The best scene in the Lord of The Rings is one that's all about communications tech and the connections among people.
- Roy Blaty’s soliloquy -in the stunning, Vangelis-lifted finale of Blade Runner

And possibly my favorite scene in all of cinema — the pivotal moment in Quest for Fire, when our hero encounters a new technology and sobs as gradually — accompanied by low cello thrums of realization — it dawns on him that his people will have the power of gods, and they will never be cold again. Watch from 1:12 on this video clip.

Mason Rourman wrote in with some good ones: 
- The moment in Serenity when Serenity exits the stellar cloud chased by the Reavers, and the Operative says "Target the Reavers. Target the Reavers! Target everyone! Somebody fire!"
- The "romantic" scene in The Name of The Rose when the peasant girl sneaks in to touch Christian Slater for his purity.
- The Wrath of Khan (original version), when Khan is gloating over Kirk after leaving him on Ceti Alpha V. (Heck, every scene of that flick.)
- The sequence from The Shawshank Redemption when Andy locks the door to the office, puts on Mozart, closes his eyes, and the entire prison stops to listen.

Scott Miller suggests: The flight to Station 5 in 2001 with The Blue Danube waltz, and the swelling brass section of John Barry’s score at the end of Dances With Wolves when Wind In His Hair proclaims his undying friendship from the ridge top.

Come down to the comments section and offer your own!

== More Moo-Vees ==

How cool would it have been, if Steven Spielberg had succeeded in getting Gene Wilder to play Halliday in "Ready Player One?" You know, the recent remake of Willie Wonka? A hugely fun film... though of course I'd have made suggestions. The shallowness of the characters' motives, when there's a world still to save, could have been resolved with minor tweaks and brief mention of Universal Income or "purple wage." Several concepts from my novel Existence would have - in a few sentences - laced some real gravitas -- and hope -- into the background, without interrupting the fun one bit. Ernie Cline did try, in his novel.
Yeah, yeah, then there are the obvious things; like where were the cops (or any institutions) the whole time till the end? See my article The Idiot Plot.
Spielberg is usually better at that.

Biggest flaw, alas... if "IOI" is the SECOND biggest corporation in the world, with the Oasis Company far bigger and richer, why does the Oasis Company do nothing for the whole film? We see no Oasis actions, employees, buildings... no one noticing they are being hacked by an evil competitor, what?

The tragic thing is that plot glitches like this are so easy to spot and fix. I should open a consultancy.

Others recently watched…

The new Tomb Raider remake with Alicia Vikander sure was a veer away from Angelina Jolie’s version. I enjoyed Jolie’s rendition of Lara Croft as an uber-confident James Bond with long braids – it was time – but the plots and stories were sillier than anything raved by a nine-year old. Vikander’s Lara is more vulnerable as she comes to realize her talents amid a great deal of painful-bruising transition. She earns her pay in action scenes of grueling relentlessness… hey, it’s Tomb Raider. But the plot realization was actually… pretty sensible, non-mystical and pleasing.  (Oh and always nice to see Derek Jacobi.)

A flux capacitor....dang they’re sold out! O'Reilly AutoParts catalog item 121G

== Why some ‘social scientists’ speak ill of SF ==

In contrast, an essay on Motherboard: “Science Fiction Is Not Social Reality,” by anthropologist S.A. Applin, proclaims the shallow uselessness of SF visions. “The tech industry is inspired to create our world from linear, scripted science fiction stories.” Alas, this person stacks paragraph after paragraph that are separably drivel, and but combine into much worse. Take this stunning assertion: "Those tech creators and tech billionaires who are influenced by Science Fiction seem to assume that because things in Science Fiction work in the society and culture of those created future-set universes, there is an expectation bias that they will work in our real life and present, without much testing or oversight."  

Examples, please? Cite one - even one example of that happening, even once? 

Waving loosely in the direction of five TV/movie franchises, without a sentence of actual, supporting evidence or analysis, Ms. Applin doesn’t even nod toward the higher craft of literary SF gedankenexperiments, from Ursula LeGuin to Neal Stephenson to Alice Sheldon to KS Robinson. Worse, she does the thing most-boringly common among all-too many “social critics.” She preens as if she invented suspicion of authority – or SoA - instead of imbibing it all her life from every movie she ever watched... and especially from science fiction. 

Take this stunning assertion: "those tech creators and tech billionaires who are influenced by Science Fiction seem to assume that because things in Science Fiction work in the society and culture of those created future-set universes, there is an expectation bias that they will work in our real life and present, without much testing or oversight."  

“Seem to assume…” Yes! We can see that’s the way things seem, to you. Yet, the challenge remains. Again, cite one -- even one -- example of that assumption appearing in a widely influential science fiction novel or film! Let alone your loony-counterfactual assumption that the message is ubiquitous. 

In fact, the very criticisms voiced in this article by Dr. Applin are almost omnipresent in most Science Fiction, especially in this era. Arrogant, over-confidant innovators abound in SF cautionary tales. Generally, protagonists react to some calamity-producing error, whether technological, personal, or societal.

We face dire problems of uneven distribution of power in modern society, including undue concentrations in the hands of tech zillionaires. I’ve long held – in fiction and nonfiction - that flows of information must be reciprocal and empowering of common folk. But Dr. Applin’s solution? "The time has come for these labs, offices, startups, corporations, and entities to hire Social Scientists to help them understand that their visions may not mesh with our realities..." 

Ah! So. We should hire "experts" like you, then, who cannot even tell us where they got their own suspicion of authority reflexes? Next time you treat us to a lengthy job-pitch, please leave out the ignorant, reflex diss at the one genre of literature that genuinely explores the realm of danger and opportunity looming ahead. 

Why give so much time to an ignoramus? Because you all need to be armed against this kind of loony  sanctimony that repeats clichés diametrically opposite to all fact. And now you know how to demand: "Name one example!"

In complete contrast, scholar Tom Lombardo cogently elucidates how science fiction has informed and nurtured to burgeoning field of futurism.

…which has led to commercial futurist companies like Scout and SciFutures.

== And the worse lunacy of the other side ==

You’ve likely heard of The Turner Diaries, a white supremacist wish-fantasy tract that sells like hotcakes at gun shows and inspired Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.  This article unveils a few others in the same sub-genre… though the best, by-far, was penned satirically long ago by Norman Spinrad – The Iron Dream

I hear that Spinrad's book is actually read straight now (by morons) in some places, while non-morons should read it for a chill. 

What this NY Times author probably doesn’t know – few do, in the West – is that there are similar Identity-Rage-Fantasies in a wide variety of languages. Quite a few in which Han Chinese wreak vengeance, for example, upon the West. Arab and Israeli, Serb and Croat, vengeful apocalyptic drool goes back to the Book of Revelation and beyond.

But the mother lode is in Russia, where turgid, poorly-written and over-the-top-gory novels celebrate spetznatz heroes who slaughter Americans by the truckload, by the city-load and often down to the last man. (Women are spared, if they can serve.) We are under a broad-spectrum assault by a world filled with frustrated males needing someone to blame… and the planet’s oligarchy would rather turn that ire toward other races and toward all the fact-professions, than let it focus where it’s deserved.


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84 comments:

Jim Houston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Houston said...

It is interesting that you describe music-laden scenes as a favorite. I think favorite scenes though can have
different components and if they all come together, they can be especially strong.

Meaning -- the hurled bone that becomes a spaceship in 2001. All of mankind’s progress summed up in one cut.

Visual -- the reveal of the “city of the dead” in Coco
the dead ‘pilot’ in Alien and the chest-burster.

Music -- the music translation sequence in Close Encounters from the first note to the last.
the “Jets” vs. the “Sharks” from West Side Story.

Sound -- the sounds in the woods from “Blair Witch”
Ender meeting the Hive Queen

Emotional -- The last scene in “The Champ”
The spaghetti scene from “Lady and the Tramp”
Pinocchio finding Gepetto
Bambi and the forest fire

Funny -- the visit scene in “There is something about Mary”
the diner scene in “When Harry met Sally”

So I think there are different reasons why scenes can get stuck in
memory even if you have only seen them once. They can become a
favorite just because they are so vivid you may even remember when
you encountered the scene. (I saw the 45th anniversary version recently
of the Exorcist, and I heard it had 18 minutes of additional footage. That move was
so memorable when I first so it -- and had never seen it again -- that I could
tell which was the new footage and which was in the original.) I could add lots to
the list. I put in a couple “kid-phase” favorite scenes because those can also be just
as strong. What makes a scene a favorite can be its success in re-creating a mood
or feeling that you had when first seen. That’s my theory anyway.

Jon S. said...

"The Wrath of Khan (original version), when Khan is gloating over Kirk after leaving him on Ceti Alpha V. (Heck, every scene of that flick.)"

"I've done far worse than kill you, Kirk. I've hurt you. And I wish to go on... hurting you. I will leave you as you left me - as you left her - marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet. Buried alive."

(Then, of course, Kirk's comeback, when Khan thinks he's dead and is declining to follow the Enterprise into an obvious trap:

"This is Admiral Kirk. We tried it once your way, Khan - care for a rematch?" (pause) "Khan. I'm laughing at the 'superior intellect'.")

Did you know that when that movie was filmed, William Shatner and Ricardo Montalban were never on set at the same time? I always figured that was because someone realized that if they were both there, there would be teethmarks all over every piece of scenery.

Jon S. said...

Oh, and just BTW - that wasn't Ceti Alpha V. Ceti Alpha V was the planet Kirk left Khan and his people on in the episode "Space Seed", and where the crew of the Reliant subsequently found them (and were left in their turn, as Khan's people seized their ship).

Khan left Kirk, McCoy, Lt. Saavik, and the surviving crew of Space Station Regula-One buried beneath the surface of the unnamed planetoid that later became the planet Genesis. (Fortunately, they were all beamed to the [i]Enterprise[/i] first...)

yana said...


Liked to see you wind up and pitch at Applin. Recently saw an old Johnny Carson where he had Burt Reynolds on. Burt's take was those who can, they do. Those who can't, they teach. And those who can do neither... are critics. Of course, he was fresh from Cannonball II so may have been a touch sensitive, haha.

Top scenes in movies are usually a result of the visual + music. The final scene in Black Swan; when we meet Hit Girl in Kickass; the end credits of Johnny English Reborn; and the stretch from the interview to the march in The Trotsky. There's good examples in Liebestraum, and most of the movie Aria is compelling.

Still say, the most perfect marriage of video and music was the tune Blood Of Eden in the flick Until The End Of The World. Only 20 years later, realized that Blood Of Eden is based on your book The Postman. Ever ring Peter Gabriel up and talk about that?

At the tail of this post, Turner. I loaned out my copy years ago, of course it never returned, but would like to replace it (without going onto some digital wingnut watchlist). Thanks for the tip about trying a gunshow, shoulda known! It's a perilously powerful novel, upon finishing i was... not myself for a while.

The cannibalism really got to me. Took a couple days decompression to rethink and dissect what it says, pick apart the things which are obvious nonsense, but when in the flow of reading, elements really build on each other with credible narrative skill. It's a fast easy read, would like to try it again, with 30 more years of learning under my belt.

Do recall, when loaning it, warning them "This is a powerful book, it's insidious. Don't get sucked in, people are really not like this."

Hope that's still true.

Laurence said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLynM-GI_Mk My personal favourite (spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen Brazil)

Anonymous said...

Daniel Duffy

Dr. Strangelove - "You can't fight in here! This is the war room!"

Aliens - When Riply emerges with the mechanical loader to battle the Alien queen, "Get away from her you bitch!"

The Shining - "All work and no play makes Jack a dullboy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy..."

Wrath of Khan - "Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!" (more fine acting from William Shatner)

Tony Fisk said...

Sound inspired moments:
- the climax of "Five Million Years to Earth" is raised above Doctor Who level corny by the driving sound of Martian mind control beat.
- the ominous base that swells during the credits to "UFO" when the alien planet swings into view.
- the fading notes in (Pal's) "War of the Worlds" as a dying martian struggles to crawl out of its vessel. A couple of minutes ago these guys were hell-bent on wiping out life on Earth. Now we're asked for sympathy?
- the gentle lullaby that accompanies Ripley as she drifts through space at the start of Aliens (you know it won't last.)
- B5 "Severed Dreams", where the slow movement of Chris Franke's "Battle of the Line" underscores how high the stakes are when marines storm aboard the station to do battle with the Narn militia.
- the joyous revelry of the festival prior to the lantern ceremony in "Tangled".
5
Interesting that Yana thinks Postman inspired "Blood of Eden". I tend to think "Digging in the Dirt" would go quite well with "Startide Rising"

Anonymous said...

Daniel Duffy

Favorite scense from war movies for both excitement and historical accuracy (or at least as accurate as Hollywood ever gets)

Ancient - "Gladiator", Roman legions vs. German barbarians

Medieval - "Henry V" (Kevin Branagh version), Battle of Agincourt (also the most inspiring battle speech in history: "We few, we happy few...")

Pike and Shot - "Cromwell" battle of Naseby

American Revolution - "The Patriot", battle of Cowpens (Mel Gibson actually got this right - unlike the Battl of Stirling in "Braveheart", the most historically inaccurate movie ever)

Napoleonic - "Waterloo" - the last attack of the French Imperial Guard and Marshall Ney's cavalry charge against British infantry squares

American Civil War - (tie) "Gettysburg" battle of Little Round Top and Picket's Charge, and "Glory" the assault on Forg Waggoner

Victorian - "Zulu" battle of Roarke's Drift (and yes the song competion is one of the highlights, but the final assault where raw Zulu courage and ferocity meets discipline British fire power is the most dramamtic scene)

World War 1 - "Paths of Glory" - the assault on the impregnable German "Ant Hill"
(Honorable mention - the aerial combat in the original silent movie "Wings" - the first academy award winner for best picture - still holds up after almot 100 years of cinema)

World War 2 (Western front) - "Saving Private Ryan" - D Day Omaha Beach, would also incldue "The Day" episode from Band of Brothers even thougf this was HBO, not a movie.

World War 2 (Eastern Front) - (tie) "Cross of Iron" the massed Soviet assault on the Germans and "Strangers at the Gate" the battle of Stalingrad (and the matching of wits between the German and Russion super snipers)

World War 2 (Pacific) - "Tora, Tora Tora!" the attack on Pearl Harbor

World War 2 (Atlantic) - "The Enemy Below", a battle of wits between two equal opponents an American destroyer captain and a German u-boat commander (was the basis for the best ST:TOS epsiode "Balance of Terror")

World War 2 (Other) - "The Great Escape" - no battles, but still one of the best war movies ever, and Steve McQueen is the coolest man to ever live)

Viet Nam - "Platoon" Viet Cong assault otn he American fire base

World War 3 - "Fail Safe" the last bombing run on Moscow

Anonymous said...

Daniel Duffy

The best SF battles (movies and TV);

"War of the Worlds" (1950s version) - US Army vs Martian war machines

"Star Wars a New Hope" - assault on the Death Star

"Star Wars,the Empire Strikes Back" - battle of Hoth

"Aliens" - Space Marines vs. Aliens in the Alien hive

"Star Trek: TOS" - Balance of Terror" Kirk vs. Romulan commander

"Star Trek DS9 - Way of the Warrior" - Klingon assault on DS9 defended by badass captain Sisko

Best fantasy battles:

"LOTR Return of the King" - Battle of the Pelennor Fields

"GOT" (3-way tie) "Black Water" assault on Kings Landing, "Hard Home" (the ice zombie assault on the Wildlings fort) and "Battle of the Bastards"

Unknown said...

A few of the top of my head. These are not necessarily the best scenes ever filmed, heck, they may not even be the best scene in the movie but they are the ones that had a great impact on me when I saw them. These are in no particular order.

The Magnificent Seven: Lee (Robert Vaughn) reclaims his self respect by holstering his gun before entering a room full of bandits and proceeding to shoot them all in a "fair" fight.

The Silence of the Lambs: Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) speaking to Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) on the phone in the final scene:

Hannibal Lecter: [on telephone] I do wish we could chat longer, but... I'm having an old friend for dinner. Bye.

Clarice Starling: Dr. Lecter?... Dr. Lecter?... Dr. Lecter?... Dr. Lecter?...

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: Ransom Stoddard (Jimmy Stewart) listening to Pompey (Woody Strode) attempting to recite a passage from The Declaration of Independence:

Pompey : It was writ by Mr. Thomas Jefferson of Virginia.

Ransom Stoddard : Was written, Pompey.

Pompey : Written by Mr. Thomas Jefferson. And he called the Constitution.

Ransom Stoddard : Declaration of Independence.

Pompey : It begun with the words... "We hold these truths to be..." uhh...

Charlie - A Classmate : Self-evident.

Ransom Stoddard : Let him alone, Charlie.

Pompey : "Self-evident, that..." uhh... that...

Ransom Stoddard : "That all men are created equal." That's fine, Pompey.

Pompey : I knew that, Mr. Rance, but I just plumb forgot it.

Ransom Stoddard : Oh, it's all right, Pompey. A lot of people forget that part of it. You did just fine, Pompey.

Robin Hood: Robin Hood (Errol Flynn) fighting Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone) on the circular staircase for the final time.

Casablanca: Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) telling the band at Rick's to strike up "La Marseillaise" and then leading the bar patrons in song, drowning out the Nazis attempting to sing "Die Wacht Am Rein."

Planet of the Apes: Taylor (Charlton Heston) kneeling before the ruins of the Staue of Liberty:

George Taylor: Oh my God. I'm back. I'm home. All the time, it was... We finally really did it.

[screaming]

George Taylor: You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

There are more of course, but these are the ones I thought of first.










Darrell E said...

Regarding Conan and dialogue free scenes, there is a particularly impressive one at the end of the raid that opens the movie. This scene shows how Conan the adult was created from Conan the boy. After his troops have thoroughly raided the village Thulsa Doom approaches the boy Conan and his mother on foot, the last people in the village standing. Conan's mother has a sword in one hand and is holding Conan's hand with her other. After a wordless face to face stare-down Thulsa Doom slowly turns away, then suddenly continues the movement with a sweeping sword strike, beheading Conan's mother. Her hand slips away from Conan's as she falls. Conan looks at her for a moment and then turns to look at Thulsa Doom. Thulsa and Conan gaze at each other for a moment and then Thulsa slowly turns away and leaves with his men.

Conan's Mother's - Death

A gruesome, barbaric scene. The acting, especially James Earl Jones, is damn near perfect. As is the pacing, camera work and music.

Jon S. said...

"Star Trek: TOS" - Balance of Terror" Kirk vs. Romulan commander

A good tale, flawed for me by a prolonged basic misunderstanding of reality. I get that the story is supposed to be a submarine battle in space - unfortunately, nobody thought to tell the writer that it's unnecessary to avoid making noises of any sort, because it's not like those will transmit through the vacuum of space.

The really sad part is that it could have been fixed with a single line. Just specify that they can't use any of their fancy equipment because the energy signature could be detected by the Romulan ship, even using passive scans (which the Romulans would be limited to, because they're trying to avoid detection too). It even works with that moment when Spock pulls himself out from under the console and accidentally hits a button - rather than the Romulans being alerted by the bleeping, they would be alerted by whatever system he activated.

Twominds said...

Well, if Dr. Brin gives an honorable mention to a scene in the LOTR movies, I better go and see it!

I love the books, but I found the movies so boring, I quit halfway the second one.

Larry Hart said...

Jon S:

"The Wrath of Khan (original version), when Khan is gloating over Kirk after leaving him on Ceti Alpha V. (Heck, every scene of that flick.)"


I'm not up on my historical research. What was changed in non-original versions?


"I've done far worse than kill you, Kirk. I've hurt you. And I wish to go on... hurting you. I will leave you as you left me - as you left her - marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet. Buried alive."


Just before that are two Kirk lines I've often used metaphorically in arguments--sometimes right here.


"You're gonna have to come down here, Khan! You're gonna have to come. Down. Here!"


and


But like a bad marksman, you keep missing the target!"



That really is one of the best movies ever, isn't it?

Larry Hart said...

Funniest line in a sci-fi film:

From Forbidden Planet ( which amazingly prefigures Star Trek in so many ways )


"The number ten raised almost literally to the power of infinity."

Larry Hart said...

Jon S:

It even works with that moment when Spock pulls himself out from under the console and accidentally hits a button - rather than the Romulans being alerted by the bleeping, they would be alerted by whatever system he activated.


That's how I always took the scene in question. The Romulans were able to detect the transmission, not the noise there inside the ship.

bhurrel said...

-HAL regressing and singing Daisy as he is deactivated
-Han shooting Greedo(first)
-Vickers returning to save "Christopher" in District-9
-The big reveal in Arrival
-Joi's love-by-proxy scene in Bladerunner 2049
-The scene in Close Encounters when Dreyfus waves on what he believes is a car behind him and the lights rise vertically. That scene just tickles me to this day
-The opening montage of"S The Road Warrior
-Rutger Hauer/Baty's soliloquy at the end of Bladerunner
-"Starman" montage in The Martian
-Kirk clearly embarrassed slipping on his glasses while speaking to Khan.
-"It's a trap!" Whatever your feelings about Star Wars, at the time Jedi had the most spectacular space battle ever seen on film.


Honestly though, there are too many to mention, but these are the ones that stick with me.

Howard Brazee said...

Interesting that you picked Lawrence of Arabia for a scene - I think of two different scenes from that movie first:

The scene where Lawrence explains his "trick" with the match.
Where we first see Sherif Ali

A small movie scene that I mention to people, is in Shane - when the rich rancher is complaining to the farmers about how his world is going away, while the gunfighters are walking around sizing each other up.

Larry Hart said...

Unknown:

Casablanca: Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) telling the band at Rick's to strike up "La Marseillaise" and then leading the bar patrons in song, drowning out the Nazis attempting to sing "Die Wacht Am Rein."


Yes, Casablanca may be my most favorite movie of all time. And there are many memorable scenes, certainly including the line Claude Rains speaks to his soldiers at the climax, which I won't spoil for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

That brings to mind a tangent--there are many such scenes which lose their potency after you already know what to expect. You have to work to remember the impact it had the first time you saw it.

Mention of this film also reminds me of a line I like to use in internet discussions (bolded) :


Major Strasser: "Are you one of those people who can't imagine us in their beloved Paris?"

Rick: "It's not especially MY beloved Paris."

Other German officer: "Can you imagine us in London?"

Rick: "When you get there, ask me."

Major Strasser: "What about New York?"

Rick: "Well, there are sections of New York I'd advise you not to try to invade."

Larry Hart said...

I've got a soft spot for the scene in Tom Hanks's That Thing You Do when the protagonists start hearing their song playing on the radio.

One that's lost its punch (for me) over time but was very intense at first viewing--the climax of The Godfather when a whole bunch of people buy it.

And I have to give an honorable mention to the scene in Summer of 42 when Hermie helps Jennifer O'Neal's character put boxes in her attic, and keeps getting an eyeful of teenage boy's fantasy come true.

A.F. Rey said...

One of my favorites is the climatic scene in Yojimbo, also told by the music.

The bad guys have kidnapped the samurai's friend, to trade for the samurai. So the samurai shows up, walking grimly down the street, the music slow and foreboding. Finally the head bad guy says, "That's far enough..."

And the samurai smiles, the music goes up-tempo, and he starts running toward them--all coming together to show that he didn't come to surrender. :)

Another favorite scene had no music. After some bloody fights, the picture faded out, then faded back in to show a leaf quietly blowing in the wind. We're given a few seconds of this classic Japanese image of peace and serenity when--THWACK!--a thrown knife pins the leaf to the ground, bringing us back to the story.

A.F. Rey said...

Robin Hood: Robin Hood (Errol Flynn) fighting Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone) on the circular staircase for the final time.

This scene was surpassed, though, by the final fight scene between Basil Rathbone and Danny Kaye in The Court Jester, where Danny was hypnotized into being the Greatest Swordsman Ever with a snap of the fingers. Unfortunately, they kept snapping their fingers throughout the fight... :)

And just remember, the vessel with the pestle has the pellet with the poison, but the flagon with the dragon has the brew that is true! (Or was it the flagon with the dragon has the pellet with the poison? Damnit!)

Tim Wolter said...

I am enormously fond of Galaxy Quest. I mean, a copy should be encased in an impervious capsule and put into high earth orbit as a lasting monument to the greatness that once existed below. Eons hence the transporter room scene will be watched by alien audiences, their tentacles grasping Kleenex equivalents as they dab their varying number of eyes clear of tears of joy....

"Well...it has never been 'successfully' tested."

and

"But the animal is inside out..."

"What did he say? Inside out??!!"

(boom!)

"And it has exploded."

T.Wolter/Tacitus

Alfred Differ said...

HAL regressing and Bowman's coldness while doing the work is paired up in my mind with the counterpart scene in the next movie where HAL is revived by Chandra. The other Americans make it seem that Chandra isn't quite human enough for them, but over the years I can't see it that way anymore. I'm a father now, so that might have something to do with it. 8)

matthew said...

Favorite war scene other than those mentioned - "We Were Soldiers"


Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: [Hal Moore speaks to his men before going into battle] Look around you. In the 7th cavalry, we've got a captain from the Ukraine; another from Puerto Rico. We've got Japanese, Chinese, Blacks, Hispanics, Cherokee Indians. Jews and Gentiles. All Americans. Now here in the states, some of you in this unit may have experienced discrimination because of race or creed. But for you and me now, all that is gone. We're moving into the valley of the shadow of death, where you will watch the back of the man next to you, as he will watch yours. And you won't care what color he is, or by what name he calls God. They say we're leaving home. We're going to what home was always supposed to be. Now let us understand the situation. We are going into battle against a tough and determined enemy.

[pauses]

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: I can't promise you that I will bring you all home alive. But this I swear, before you and before Almighty God, that when we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead or alive, we will all come home together. So help me, God.


Entirely different genre - Shogun Assassin (Lone Wolf and Cub)" When I was little, my father was famous. He was the greatest Samurai in the empire, and he was the Shogun's decapitator. He cut off the heads of 131 lords for the Shogun. It was a bad time for the empire."

and

"

Master of Death: [his jugular fatally slashed] Your technique is magnificent.

[voiceover]

Master of Death: When cut across the neck, a sound like wailing winter winds is heard, they say. I'd always hoped to cut someone like that someday, to hear that sound. But to have it happen to my own neck is ridiculous.

[dies]"


Ron Stepp said...

There are so many musical moments from so many films, I can't possibly create a comprehensive list. But here are a few.

Lawrence of Arabia has many iconic musically inspired scenes, just experience the entire movie.

A couple of short ones come to mind. With Star Trek the Motion Picture, the intro scene where the Klingon ship first appears. Jerry Goldsmith, for me, captured the essence of the Klingons in the short tribal background intro that has lasted throughout the movies and in some of the series as well.

In The Right Stuff, Bill Conti's use of percussion was excellent, and I've always been fond of his using Holst's The Planets for John Glen's first flight. Lots of great music used in that entire movie.

And of course, John Williams Imperial March is an all time favorite.


I'd also like to thank Mr. Brin for his spot on paragraph on rage and context. As a "Golden Age" fan, and huge fan of Robert A. Heinlein in particular, context is a key element in understanding his humor and how his use of sex and sexual banter, though certainly extremely sexist today, brought females more into the limelight of fiction in those days. His females gave as good as they got, and were featured characters. Even though they were subservient to males in almost every case, as was the norm during his era, they were given fare more intelligence than was the norm in those years.

Thank you sir.

Jon S. said...

"I'm not up on my historical research. What was changed in non-original versions?"

Well, technically that wasn't me - I was quoting someone else - but I imagine the reference was to Star Trek Into Darkness, the second of the reboot movies. It leans heavily on a reimagining of the discovery of SS Botany Bay, in this case by a vessel belonging to the black-ops organization Section 31 (which has, or at least had, a much larger footprint in the rebooted universe), and the subsequent use of Khan Singh by S31 (by way of holding the rest of his people in suspended animation, and threatening them if he didn't cooperate).

In the end, of course, it worked out about as well as you might imagine, and led to another classic moment (which I won't reveal here, as it's a major spoiler).

Larry Hart said...

A.F. Rey:

And just remember, the vessel with the pestle has the pellet with the poison, but the flagon with the dragon has the brew that is true! (Or was it the flagon with the dragon has the pellet with the poison? Damnit!)


No, you were right the first time.

All that, and a very young Angela Lansbury. Which now that I mention her, brings us round to The Manchurian Candidate. A rare example of a movie which was much better than the book.

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

HAL regressing and Bowman's coldness while doing the work...


He was cold because the job had to be done, but he was obviously pained by what he had to do, which became even more evident when he broke down and requested a song.

Anonymous said...

This scene of Total Recall reminds me of the danger of underestimating the danger of re-union on the planet Mars. Above all, after I learned that there are plans to create shelters of plastic sheets folded in the origami style for better ease in transporting and packing the shelters for astronauts. So much trouble when it is enough to use the volcanic caves of Mars.
This is the text of the Total Recall scene, which I never forgot:


Benny leads Quaid down a crowded, narrow alley. Barkers and
hookers try to lure them inside.

MADAME FATIMA stands in front of a psychic parlor with her
LITTLE GIRL. She looks like a knockout. Benny nudges Quaid
to look. Hair covers half her face.

BENNY (CONT'D)
Not bad, eh?

MADAME FATIMA
Read your palm? Read your aura? Probe
the secrets of your heart.

As Madame Fatima steps forward, the fan blows her hair,
revealing a horrible disfigurement on the concealed side of
her face. Quaid is shocked and disturbed to see that Madame
Fatima's little girl had the same congenital defect.

LITTLE GIRL
I bet I can guess your birthday.

QUAID
(bends low)
What is it?

LITTLE GIRL
You're a Taurus, right?

QUAID
(impressed, smiles)
How'd you guess?

Quaid gives the little girl a coin. She smiles in gratitude.
He walks on and turns to Benny.

QUAID (CONT'D)
Tell me something; are all psychics,
uh....?

BENNY
Freaks?...'Fraid so, man. Goes with
the territory.

QUAID
What happened to them?

BENNY
Cheap domes. And no air to screen out
the rays.

Winter7

Larry Hart said...

Ron Stepp:

And of course, John Williams Imperial March is an all time favorite.


While that's the most obvious Star Wars music to refer to, it was the music from the denouement of the original movie--the theme that played as Princess Leia put medals on Han and Luke to the cheers of the assembled rebels--that my wife and I had played at the walking-off part of our wedding ceremony.

Alfred Differ said...

Anyone notice that they might have found the impact site for the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis? [78.738498, -66.429409]

The scientists writing about it are understandably cautious and didn't actually make the claim. The rest of us reading the announcement did in under a second and looked for whether nearby erosion channels predate the 'crater'. More work to be done, obviously.

donzelion said...

Not a bad start for a list...I'd definitely include 'Lighting of the Beacons' from 'Lord of the Rings' as one of the all-time iconic musical triumphs in film, though I'd go with the frenetic 'Riders of Doom' suite from 'Conan the Barbarian" (which always was more of an 'opera' than a film)

Amazing scores from overlooked sci-fi that made otherwise unremarkable movies/shows/scenes sizzle:

-Brian Tyler's 'Children of Dune' soundtrack, esp. the 'Inama Nushif' montage (very few films use an invented sci-fi language for the chorus), but also, 'Summon the Worms'
-Bear McCreary's taiko drum infused 'Battlestar Galactica' (personal favorite, 'Storming New Caprica,' 'Battlestar Sonatica') (see also his work on 'Europa Report')
-M83's work on 'Oblivion' (otherwise forgettable film, save for the music)
-'The Fountain' (beautiful if flawed movie, Clint Mansell's 'Death is the Road to Awe' is intense)
-Brad Fiedel's pensive/furious 'Terminator' soundtrack
-Hans Zimmer's slow build toward impressive fury on 'Inception' (or maybe his work on Interstellar) (but I'm not sure Zimmer counts as 'overlooked')

John Williams (Star Wars/Jurassic Park), James Horner (Star Trek II, Braveheart, Avatar), and a handful of others have too many listings, but none are 'overlooked' by any measure.

donzelion said...

As for our host, it appears to me he was so incensed by Applin's words that he popped the same quote in twice (just in case people skimmed it?) in this post.

"there is an expectation bias that they will work in our real life and present, without much testing or oversight."

LOL, I read you the first time (4 paras earlier). ;-)

"We are under a broad-spectrum assault by a world filled with frustrated males needing someone to blame…"
Always have been, always will be. From Egyptian heiroglyphs through Sumerian shards, you'll find plenty of evidence. Thing is, feudalism reshaped the expression of those frustrations, uniting otherwise competing tribes under a series of land owners/rulers - enabling communities to grow that otherwise never would. Capitalism reshaped that frustration in wholly new ways.

Both the oligarchs and the tribal leaders can be checked, but their power must first be understood, lest we erroneously dump the forces that empowered them into a dustbin, even as they keep on evolving into new forms.

donzelion said...

Yana: "those who can, they do. Those who can't, they teach. And those who can do neither... are critics."

LOL, been and done all three. At the moment, while waiting for next challenge, I criticize. But there are at least three uses of criticism - sharpening what is already sharp, destroying what is already futile, and studying/learning.

re Turner: on 9/11, I was calculating the odds that the attack on the skyscrapers was a 'Turner' event or an AQ event (I figured 10/90 US domestic v. foreign). There is evidence a certain Egyptian monster (who handled operations for a Saudi monster) was aware of Turner, and drew inspiration there. I recommend the book to anyone looking at jousting with monsters...one must know the source of ideas one's foe will draw upon.

"This is a powerful book, it's insidious. Don't get sucked in, people are really not like this."
There are a handful such people. They tend to only matter when two competing sides interact to reinforce one another by focusing narrowly on one another, to the exclusion of other considerations.

jim said...

Babylon 5 - And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place

For me this was the best scene in the hole series.
The scene takes place in two different places.
One Underground on Narn, Lord Refa receives his karmic reward ( being beaten to death by Narns)
While on the Babylon 5 station the good guys are at church service singing No Hiding Place.


I also really love in the older Spiderman Movies when New Yorkers return the favor and save Spiderman.

donzelion said...

Daniel Duffy: I like all of your pick and pics. Some others if you've missed them -

- Ancient: if you liked Lisa Gerrard in "Gladiator," spend some time with 'Dead Can Dance'
- Medieval: if you liked "Henry V," try 'First Knight' (forgettable film, excellent music)...also consider Excalibur (Bretonized Wagner + Orff's 'Carmina Burana')
- American Revolution: um...Hamilton? (is that cheating?)...'Last of the Mohicans' has sublime moments that were crucial to the movie working to the extent it worked at all
-American Civil War - extend your tie to a 3-way, since Ennio Morricone earned his spot (Good, Bad & Ugly)
-WW1 - some tracks from 'Legends of the Fall' are excellent...if you need to wash your eardrums out after all that good music, the Gallipolli soundtrack gets hilariously 'more '80s than the '80s'
-Vietnam War - Apocalypse Now 'The End' is as powerful as Platoon's 'Adagio for Strings'

donzelion said...

Oh, and who could exclude all the nuanced variations on 'Doctor Who'?

Jon S. said...

Trying to think of my favorite movie moments, and mostly they had to do with character interactions, rather than just the music. For instance, I couldn't even tell you what music was playing during the late scene in Black Panther, in the aftermath of the fight between T'Challa and Erik Killmonger, but the scene is clear in my mind, including many of the lines ("Bury me in the ocean, with my ancestors who jumped from ships because they knew death was better than bondage"). I'm sure it was something inspiring, and probably a little sad, because that would have been what fit the scene and anything else would have been jarring.

A.F. Rey said...

When speaking just about soundtracks, let's not forget Joe Hisaishi's music for Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli films.

I can't think of any particular scenes where the music heightened the emotions, but they were essential to the overall moods of the films.

Larry Hart said...

donzelion:

um...Hamilton? (is that cheating?)


Only in that it's not a movie--yet.

One scene I just thought of that is enhanced by the soundtrack is Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt in The Ten Commandments. Another from that same 4-hour film is toward the middle, when Moses crosses the desert after being exiled.

A scene that impressed the heck out of me at age 13 or so--not sure how well it holds up--is just before the intermission in Camelot, Arthur wrestling with his jealousy over Lancelot and Guinevere, finally shouting out that he requires a man's vengeance, then pulling himself back and deciding that they will all get through this thing as civilized adults. And if that weren't enough, I was brought near to tears by the final denouement when Arthur knights the young boy and then orders him behind the lines so that he can live and tell the story of Camelot long after they're gone. When his lieutenant asks what about the battle, Arthur says in triumph, "I've won my battle."

Russell Osterlund said...

I would add the final, poignant scenes in Harry Potter of Harry, Hermione, and Ron and the Hunger Games of Katniss. We are ending our active participation in these sagas, knowing that the characters' lives and stories will go on without us. These scenes are bittersweet to me in the same way as the end of the Lord of the Rings when Sam declares "Well, I'm back."

Frederick Ellrod said...

Yes -- it's impossible to watch the 'lighting of the beacons' scene (which is cited in the OP) without being mightily moved. And it wasn't even in the book!

But, speaking of The Wrath of Khan . . . one my my all-time favorites is the scene surrounding the iconic statement: "I don't like the no-win scenario."

Rick

Larry Hart said...

Again, I'm not so sure how it holds up, but I was 15 when I first saw Yankee Doodle Dandy, the fictionalized biography of George M Cohan. Much of the film was driven by the music, but the ending really spoke to me. Even though I saw it in the 70s, the movie had been made in 1942 just as the US was going into WWII. Like Casablanca, the movie owes its sensibility to the war without yet knowing how it ends.

At the denouement of the film, Cohan had just had a meeting with President Roosevelt in the White House, and as he walks out, he sees a column of newly-minted soldiers marching off to the tune of the song that he himself had written during the first world war, "Over There".

...
We'll be over,
We're coming over,
And we won't be back
'Til it's over over there!


A young man sarcastically asks him why he isn't singing. "Don't you know the words?" To which he replies, "I think I do." and marches along singing with the rest.

Larry Hart said...

Frederick Ellrod:

But, speaking of The Wrath of Khan . . . one my my all-time favorites is the scene surrounding the iconic statement: "I don't like the no-win scenario."


I'm pretty sure the line is, "I don't beLIEVE in the no-win scenario."

El Muneco said...

For scenes that come to mind in terms of sound/music - the attack on Third Castle in Kurosawa's Ran.

For the first few minutes of the one-sided (with magnificently brutal and chaotic cinematography) curbstomping, there are no battle noises at all, just a swellingly depressing orchestral backdrop. Then Lord Taro is framed surveying his conquest - a single gunshot rings out and Taro falls dead from the saddle. From that point to the completion of the battle, it's all battle noise (if there's any music at all it's way in the background). The pivot really brings home the slaughter that was happening all along.

Tony Fisk said...

A couple more musically assisted scenes:
- the dogfight scenes in "Dunkirk" make you forget to breathe.
- the final scene from "The Great Dictator", when (cheat!) overlaid with Zimmermann's music from "Inception". It's chilling to think a speech from nearly eighty years ago still topical. At the same time, it's infused with such vision for the future that I wonder whether Chaplin was a closet SF writer.
- the vision that Six shows Baltar at the end of the first season of "Battlestar Galactica"

Jon S. said...

SAAVIK: Sir, may I ask you a question?

KIRK: What's on your mind, Lieutenant?

SAAVIK: The Kobayashi Maru, sir.

KIRK: Are you asking me if we are playing out that scenario now?

SAAVIK: On the test, sir. Will you tell me what you did? I would really like to know.

McCOY: Lieutenant, you are looking at the only Starfleet cadet who ever beat the no-win scenario. (points at Kirk)

SAAVIK: How?

KIRK: I reprogrammed the simulation so it was possible to rescue the ship.

SAAVIK: What?

DAVID: (scoffs) He cheated!
KIRK: I changed the conditions of the test. I got a commendation for original thinking. I don't like to lose.

SAAVIK: Then you never faced that situation - faced death.

KIRK: I don't believe in a no-win scenario. (flips open communicator) Kirk to Spock. It's two hours. Are you about ready?

SPOCK (on communicator): Right on schedule, Admiral. Just give us your coordinates and we'll beam you aboard.

KIRK: All right! (flips communicator closed) I don't like to lose. (takes bite of apple)

yana said...


Tony Fisk thought:

"Interesting that Yana thinks Postman inspired "Blood of Eden". I tend to think "Digging in the Dirt" would go quite well with "Startide Rising""

Digging In The Dirt, PG admitted, was about his horrendous divorce from the lovely Roseanne Arquette.

Jack Holt said...

One has already been mentioned: >>Roy Blaty’s soliloquy -in the stunning, Vangelis-lifted finale of Blade Runner<<

Two (among many great ones) from Casablanca—both with the brilliant Claude Rains— “I am shocked— shocked—to find that gambling is going on in here!” and “Major Strasser has been shot...”

The death of Boromir in Peter Jackson’s LOTR: Fellowship movie. I always had a sort of contempt for the character from the book. Seeing him sacrifice his life in front of the statues of his ancestors foreshadows Theoden’s great battle later on Pelennor Fields. But in itself, it was heart-wrenching and heroic.

The first 10 minutes or so of Tomorrowland, jet-pack and all. When I’m having a bad day I run that scene to remind myself to work for a better future. Ne plus ultra— literally!!

Clark Kent returning to the bar in Superman II and paying for the damage in cash.

“Rainbow Connection” from the Muppet Movie. Anybody who wants to give me flack about that has no heart.

Captain America budging Thor’s Immovable Hammer in Avengers:Age of Ultron

Mulan disarming the Shan Yu with a paper fan... “Shan-Yu: Looks like you're all out of ideas.

[he stabs at her with his sword; she dodges, catches the sword with the fan and twists it out of his hands]

Mulan: Not quite.”

Barroom negotiation scene in The Greatest Showman.


The moment in the Deathly Hallows when the sword comes to Neville, Nagini dies, and Harry Potter grins because he KNOWS he’s finally got the bastard.

The moment when Leonard Nimoy Spock recognizes Simon Pegg Scotty “You are Montgomery Scott.” (Best piece of expository dialogue of all time) and proceeds to show him his own equation for trans warp beaming (in a wonderful nod to Scotty’s anachronistic ‘invention’ of transparent aluminum in Star Trek I’ve Voyage Home). Deeply satisfying to see the altered universe mending itself back into its old shape.

The last scene of Castaway at the crossroads.

The scene in Joe versus the Volcano where he chooses the luggage and the equally important scene at the end where he reaffirms a universal truth: I tell you one thing, though. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we're gonna take this luggage with us!!” Yep. We always take our old baggage with us, Joe. We surely do.

“Tuppence a bag” from Mary Poppins. All you people who gave me flack about “Rainbow Connection” can get back in line. Your objections have been noted.

The two from the Hobbit:Unexpected Journey the Dwarves’ Song and Bilbo running to catch up with his signed contract in hand.

The ‘theft’ of Moriaty’s money in Sherlock Holmes:Game of Shadows

Professor Henry Jones using a flock of birds to defeat a combat plane.

Walter Donovan: (Refers to Marcus Brody) He sticks out like a sore thumb! We'll find him.
Walter Donovan: He sticks out like a sore thumb! We'll find him.
Indiana Jones: The hell you will. He's got a two day head-start on you, which is more than he needs. Brody's got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan. He speaks a dozen languages and knows every local custom. He'll blend in, disappear and you'll never see him again. With any luck he's got the grail already.
Marcus Brody: (Scene cuts to Iskendrun, where Brody finds himself lost in a crowd of citizens). Uh, does anybody here speak English?
Marcus Brody: Uh, does anybody here speak English?

Last scene of Avatar.

Duel of Indigo Montoya and Count Rügen, the ‘Six-fingered Man’ from the Princess Bride. Every one of Inigo’s wounds returned to the Six-fingered Man.










Anonymous said...

There are many good scenes listed and I have always loved the fire scene from Quest for fire, Rutger Hauer's "Roy Blatty tears in the rain" soliloquy, and of course the scenes from 2001, but I'd like to suggest a couple more:

1. the final scene from Gallipoli "What are your legs?", "Steel. Spring steel" etc
.The music also very much helps that scene through sheer anachronism, but the end result is already known by the time Archie prepares himself for his run

2.The Maria/robot-Maria transformation scene in Metropolis

3. Wall-E's fire extinguisher scene (for sheer wonderment)

4. Where Chaplin's tramp realises that the girl flower-seller is blind in City Lights

Cheers!

Brett Coster said...

Not anonymous, but me, Brett

yana said...


Unknown thought:

"Casablanca: Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) telling the band at Rick's to strike up "La Marseillaise" and then leading the bar patrons in song, drowning out the Nazis attempting to sing "Die Wacht Am Rein.""

Hmmnn, i always saw that a different way. Right in the middle as the French waxes and the German wanes, the two anthems hit a tandem melody, making the sum greater than the parts. Always wondered if that was Max Steiner's sly plea for peace.

Steiner's work there was peerless, but he had already perfected the 'punch-counter-draw' incidental years earlier, scoring Bogart also in Angels With Dirty Faces.


Ron Stepp thought:

"just experience the entire movie."

From Hollywood Knights: "He's an English guyyyy, he came to fight the Turrrkishhhh."


donzelion thought:

"...one must know the source of ideas one's foe will draw upon."

Which is why i picked up the book in the first place. Now 30 years later, keenly curious whether it would have the same effect upon me. As years pass, see people here and there allowing their own minds to narrow. File each away as an example not to follow, but what i really want to know, is if the knowledge one gains with experience maintains a broad mind in/of itself, or does more understanding lead one to calcify, each subject once mastered gets filed away to remain unaltered?

Gotta say, rise of political correctness is not helping me. I don't want the news fair and balanced, i want polemic and invective. Would rather have multiple sources of rabies than one source of truth.

"focusing narrowly on one another, to the exclusion of other considerations."

Thank you, that sets me at ease and makes me uncomfortable at the same time, just the way i like it.

"three uses of criticism - sharpening what is already sharp, destroying what is already futile, and studying/learning."

I was just quoting Burt Reynolds. What do i know, i'm just a poor corrupt official!


AF Rey thought:

"Joe Hisaishi's music for Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli films."

To tie this back into Dr. Brin's original blogpost for this thread, there are full storyboarded versions of some of those. Saw the one for Spirited Away, and liked it. Not sure if it would've had the same charm without seeing the fully animated version first, but if more storyboarded films come out, we'll see.


Jack Holt thought:

"I always had a sort of contempt for the character from the book."

Vice versa, liked Boromir more on paper than film. And it's not Bean's portrayal, saw him in about 15 Sharpe movies and liked 'em all.

john fremont said...

Agreed. The Dogfight scenes in Dunkirk were incredible. Along with that I'd have to say the tank battles in Fury were just as heart stopping.

The discovery of the monolith* on the moon in 2001 remains a favorite. The music from Ligeti really enhanced it. I think it's movies like 2001 and Interstellar that helped me appreciate 20th century classical music. Being able to "see" the music, to set it to visuals, enabled me to "stretch my ears" to it.

Or as it's called in Clarke's novel by the fictional US Astronatics Agency, Tycho Magnetic Anamoly 1!

Unknown said...

yana thought:

Unknown thought:

"Casablanca: Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) telling the band at Rick's to strike up "La Marseillaise" and then leading the bar patrons in song, drowning out the Nazis attempting to sing "Die Wacht Am Rein.""

Hmmnn, i always saw that a different way. Right in the middle as the French waxes and the German wanes, the two anthems hit a tandem melody, making the sum greater than the parts. Always wondered if that was Max Steiner's sly plea for peace.

Steiner's work there was peerless, but he had already perfected the 'punch-counter-draw' incidental years earlier, scoring Bogart also in Angels With Dirty Faces.

The great thing about art is that we can all interpret it in out own way. You see a plea for peace, I see an oppressed people rediscovering the will to fight their oppressor. We are both right as we both interpret art thorough the prism of our knowledge, belief and life experience.

Larry Hart said...

Tony Fisk:

- the final scene from "The Great Dictator", when (cheat!) overlaid with Zimmermann's music from "Inception". It's chilling to think a speech from nearly eighty years ago still topical. At the same time, it's infused with such vision for the future that I wonder whether Chaplin was a closet SF writer.


Another film made during the dark days of WWII.

I'm a big fan of movies set in WWII such as The Great Escape or The Bridge Over The River Kwai, or even TV miniseries like War and Rememberance. But most of the ones I know were made after the war was already history. It's just a matter of getting to the inevitable Allied victory. There's a different sensibility in watching Casablanca or Yankee Doodle Dandy or yes, The Great Dictator which were made before the US got into the war, or just shortly after, when the course of the war was still to be determined.

Larry Hart said...

yana:

Digging In The Dirt, PG admitted, was about his horrendous divorce from the lovely Roseanne Arquette.


I once wanted to name a cat "Rosanna, Our Cat", but my wife wouldn't let me. :)

Larry Hart said...

Jack Holt:

Clark Kent returning to the bar in Superman II and paying for the damage in cash.


I loved that scene when I first saw the movie in 1981. Over time, it's come to feel more contrived. But ok, "guilty pleasure".

I still want to know how the powerless Superman and Lois got back from the north pole.


Captain America budging Thor’s Immovable Hammer in Avengers:Age of Ultron


Did he do that? I just watched that movie two weeks or so ago, and I thought everyone who tried to lift the hammer had the same result. The Vision ended up lifting it, but I'm not sure that proved what everyone thought it did, since he's a machine.

But there was a Thor comic book story back in the 80s in which Captain America was able to hold Thor's hammer.


Mulan disarming the Shan Yu with a paper fan...


Kids movies--you bring up an interesting point. Many scenes which seem hokey or cliched now were very impressive--sublime even--when first viewed as a young child. Some that come to mind:

The Grinch's small heart growing three sizes as he saves the sleigh from toppling off the mountain.

Yukon Cornelius having survived the fall with the abominable snow monster ("Let me tell you about bumbles. Bumbles bounce.)

The rescue of Thomas O'Malley from the pound in The Aristocats (The version of Lady and the Tramp).

Since you bring up Mulan, I have to say that as a then-childless adult, I was never interested in either Mulan or Aladdin when they came out, but I finally saw them a decade or so later when I had a young child. I was very impressed with the plotting and craftsmanship that went into both films, much morso than I had been expecting.

Larry Hart said...

That was supposed to read:

...The Aristocats (The feline version of Lady and the Tramp).

Larry Hart said...

Speaking of not-really-historical Disney cartoons, my daughter just went through the early colonial period (including Jamestown, Virginia) in her U.S. history class. I made a sarcastic comment about it not being quite like the movie Pocahontas, and she said, "Yeah, pretty much everything in the movie was wrong."

My reply, "Well, it was in sixteen-hundred seven."

Twominds said...

For one reason or another, most movies or series don't stay with me. They can make a deep impression at that moment, but it fades.

An exception: Das Boot, by Günter Rohrbach for its claustrophobic atmosphere.

raito said...

Conan was a rather wretched movie in many ways. But it had absolutely the correct look, and Arnie was clearly the guy to play him. And the score is marvelous. I think my favorite bit, though, is the Riddle of Steel: "What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?"

One that probably won't come up here is Gonzo telling off Lord Vile in Blood of Heroes:
"Lord Vile, I've broken Juggers in half, smashed their bones, left the ground behind me wet with brains. There's nothing I wouldn't do to win. But I never hurt anyone for any reason other than sticking a dog's skull on a stake. And I never will."

The saber duel in Deluge.

Most of Severn Samurai. Though Kurosawa missed a trick that Sturges didn't. In the latter movie, when the villager go to the city to look for gunfighters, the scene is cropped so that all you see of the men walking the street is their guns and their hands. That one would've worked perfectly in a chambara flick.

The opening and closing scenes of Saturday Night Fever. In the opening scene, all you see are Tony Manero's feet, because that's all he thinks about. In the closing, you see him walking as in the opening, but you see his head,because he's thinking about the future.

David Brin said...

Yesterday I did a 20 hour blitz to San Jose and Monterey for speeches for VMWare and the Naval Postgraduate School, experiencing first hand the horrible air quality even that far south(!) from the Northern California fires.

== Re Movie scenes ==

JimH: sweet list!

JonS: Yes to your Wrath/Khan corrections. Except the planet Genesis was born out of the nearby Mutara Nebula

Fred Ellrod: I can think of several scenes in LOTR that are about “communications” and the ones using magic — the Palantir and Gandalf whispering to the moth - are okay, but elitist-snobbery… while the one that was about regular humans using skill and hard work and dedication … the chain of beacons… was thrilling.


“the tune Blood Of Eden in the flick Until The End Of The World.” Huh!
“"Digging in the Dirt" would go quite well with "Startide Rising”” Double huh!

“Aliens - When Riply emerges with the mechanical loader to battle the Alien queen, "Get away from her you bitch!””

If Alien was a gothic horror flick about rape, Aliens was the greatest of all action films about motherhood.

I liked DD’s list:
“"The Patriot", battle of Cowpens (Mel Gibson actually got this right…” Well, the essence. Not any details. It was Daniel Morgan who innovated the method to destroy Tarlton’s Legion. And Nathaniel Green, Washington’s best general, perfected it to give Cornwallis his pyrrhic victory. Cornwallis “won” the day… and lost the war.

Yeah.”Gettysburg” was as excellent as “Gods and Generals” was horrible.

HB: The best line from Lawrenceof Arabia. “He said there was gold in Aqaba. He lied. He is NOT… perfect.”

Good stuff, all!

locumranch said...


At least we all agree that S.A. Applin is a silly git.

With the advent of a Replication Crisis which shows that about 2/3rds of peer-reviewed scientific studies published in the fields of Sociology, Psychology & Medicine are irreproducible with a predictive value that approaches zero, Science Fiction tropes appear to be a better source of 'fact' than established science!

My favorite tropes include the plucky resolve of the protagonist of 'Robinson Crusoe on Mars, the 'Quest for Fire' scene wherein Rae Dawn Chong 'discovers' missionary sex, 2001's 'Dawn of Man' scene (the Mel Brooks version) wherein the impetus for bipedal locomotion is revealed to be masturbation, and the 'Eric the Viking' scene wherein the fact-users of Hy-Brasil declare that their consensus opinion supersedes observable reality.

The last one has a predictive value approaching 1, especially in Political Science, as evidenced by David & Larry's admission that they are unable to either read or tolerate opinions that appear to disagree with their own rather delicate belief systems.

That's the real power of Science Fiction, it's ability to examine unpopular but topical opinions only because we PRETEND they can only occur "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away".


Best

matthew said...

This article should be of deep interest to our host and anyone else interested in transparency. The concept of social media outlets as "information fiduciaries." Thought provoking.

https://slate.com/technology/2018/11/information-fiduciaries-facebook-google-jack-balkin-data-privacy.html

donzelion said...

Matthew: I chuckle a little every time I see a reference to the 'Second Gilded Age.'

"A series of journal articles by Yale law professor Jack Balkin, culminating in a forthcoming article for the Buffalo Law Review called “The First Amendment in the Second Gilded Age,” suggests some important steps we can take to reframe our relationships with both companies and government when it comes to today’s internet."

Balkin definitely merits some respect as a thorough thinker. That said, I see at least three basic positions for how to handle data:
(1) The current 'data extraction' regime - FB/Twitter/etc. own EVERYTHING that happens on their systems, which we use subject to a license (we unwittingly 'give' endless content to them).
(2) The EU's 'General Data Protection' regime - the individual remains the ultimate owner of that individual's data, and whoever temporarily holds the data has duties to the individual
(3) Balkin's 'fiduciary' concept - the individual is NOT the ultimate owner of that individual's data, but whoever acquires possession has duties to the individual who produces that data (duties of care, loyalty, and confidentiality)...essentially trying to split the difference between the absolute positions of (1) and (2)

I'll look forward to reading his article once it publishes (in Buffalo? Well...why not...). Perhaps the first step though is for people to give up the silly notions that the First Amendment applies to FB and Twitter - many people erroneously believe they have a right to speak there, forgetting that these are private services, which licensed them to use the service - you have as much 'right' to speak there as you do to speak in my house without my permission.

David Brin said...

Dang, I thought I was going to really approve of a locum posting, especially mentioning Robinson Crusoe on Mars!

Then he had to spew more strawman lies. Speaking of masturbation. Go close the bathroom door, sillyperson.

Pappenheimer said...

There are 2 contiguous scenes (Not Science Fiction) from Jackson's The Two Towers affect me about as equally as the do in the book:

The Charge of the Rohirrim at the Pelennor

and

Eowyn's Stand against the Lord of the Nazgul (with hobbit backup)

David Brin said...

“The Dogfight scenes in Dunkirk were incredible. Along with that I'd have to say the tank battles in Fury were just as heart stopping” OTOH in Dunkirk we’re supposed to be thrilled by maybe twenty boats? What? You can’t afford CGI to make it hundreds?

Larry Hart said...

locumranch:

as evidenced by David & Larry's admission that they are unable to either read or tolerate opinions that appear to disagree with their own rather delicate belief systems.


No, you're not taking it personally enough.

I talk to people whose belief systems differ from my own all the time. My daughter's best friend lives in a house that used to sport "Stop Obamacare" placards. I work with a Trump supporter who thinks Brett Kavanaugh is God's gift, but as long as we're not discussing politics, he's a fine co-worker. The woman I fantasize about at the office is a Republican, and she's the first one whose life I'd save, at the expense of my own, if there's ever an active shooter in the building.

None of those people want me dead, slander me repeatedly, or ascribe the diametric opposite of what I actually say to me as a reason to vilify me. I don't find you deplorable for being a conservative, but for having declared war on me. Chris to the contrary, I don't negotiate with my murderers.


And another thing, Mr. Age of Enlightenment,
Don't talk to me about the war. You didn't fight in it.
You think we're frightened of you? We almost died in the trench,
While you were off getting high with the French.


Have a nice day.

David Brin said...

Yeow, LH you can... bite! In the best way.

locumranch said...


Hy-Brasil is sinking, Larry_H, and I warn you repeatedly -- which is NOT the action of someone who "wants you dead" -- while you accuse your would-be rescuer repeatedly of being a "nazi", "murderer", "deplorable" and worse.

You're like that minister in the flood who believes that his progressive god will save him, so he refuses rescue by lorry, boat & helicopter until he finally drowns, meets his god & angrily asks why he was NOT rescued, to which his god responds "I sent rescue to you by a lorry, a boat & a helicopter, you silly twit".

Plus, your ability to quote musical theatre doesn't make you a genus, a hero, a fop, a person of colour, a veteran, a soldier or Lin-Bloody Manuel Miranda.


Best
_____

Interesting how so many love Disney but no one mentions 'This Island Earth', 'The Monitors', 'Silent Running', 'Dark Star' or 'THX 1138'

TheMadLibrarian said...

Wandering back to musical scores...
The Star Trek composers were very underrated. Alexander Courage arguably gave us an eight note opening as memorable and iconic as anything John Williams did (and I do loves me some Williams; I believe Larry Hart mentioned using his ending march from IV as the recessional from his wedding, so did we!) The Doomsday Machine slowly sucking in the Enterprise after disabling her, the music as relentless as the giant shark from Jaws. The Enterprise departing from drydock, both in STTMP and WoK, lights coming on and powering up in perfect synchronicity to the theme. James Horner and Jerry Goldsmith carried on the torch. I have snippets from all the movies as MP3s and they all bring the scenes out of memory.

WoK is beloved by many here, especially those of us of a technical mind:
Saavik: I don't understand...
James T. Kirk: You must know why things work on a Starship...
Spock: Each ship is programmed with its own prefix code...
James T. Kirk: To prevent an enemy from doing what we are attempting... using our console to order Reliant to lower her shields.

That line by Kirk is a throwback from when all cadets were expected to be hands on and know how to fix things. One thing I noted about WoK was its more martial leitmotifs; it's the only music I recall where a piccolo stood in for a fife (or bosun's whistle).

Other movies with memorable theme music:
Despite the popularity of the House of Mouse, the animated film I remember for its music is the first How to Tame Your Dragon. The Celtic motif worked very well with the Viking everything else (bagpipes?!? Bagpipes!) Maybe not SF, but fantasy.

Back to the Future 1, 2 and 3; thank you, Alan Silvestri. "Let's see if you bastards can do 90!" Ready Player One thought so, too.

Danny Elfman and Batman, the original and best score. "Where does he get those wonderful toys??"

Larry Hart said...

The Mad Librarian:

Wandering back to musical scores...


Yeah, sorry about that. Sometimes, one just can't keep from throwing up.


I believe Larry Hart mentioned using his ending march from [the one, true "Star Wars"] as the recessional from his wedding, so did we!


I corrected your spelling. :)

Still, that's cool. The band leader at our wedding was an old friend of my wife's, so it was a given that they'd play whatever we asked for, but IIRC, we had to supply him with a tape of the music in order for them to reverse-engineer the score. I also remember catching the smiles on the faces of the few people who realized what the music was.

David Brin said...

Hey, locum, which of you always... and that's always... says something hate-filled here? It's not LarryHart.

Which of you almost always attributes to others words, intents and morals often diametrically opposite to those they actually - and clearly - hold? Nor has the decency to ask: "Oh, was I mistaken?" Nor ever does course correction, based on corrected error?

Yes, LH is harsher with you than I am. I keep expressing hope while he has given up on you ever behaving decently here, arguing based on statistically comparable and verifiable facts, or operating ever out of anything but hate. I still suggest he tone it down below 10% of your level. But yes, if your cult ever takes power, all of us here are in mortal dangers.

You know damned well what we'll do to you, if we mondernist regain the tiller. Sigh, roll our eyes and keep arguing, while protecting you with our very lives.

David Brin said...

Talking general musical scores... I have to say that despite my problems with Costner's personal behavior and the silliness of the last 25% of the flick... I think the Postman was musically and visually one of the dozen most gorgeous films ever made.

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

I still suggest he tone it down below 10% of your level.


I plan to go back to ignoring. Every so often, it becomes difficult not to respond to something that someone else quotes. :)

What gets me is that loc somehow thinks that I think of myself as a great hero. Since I never say anything of that sort, I have to believe that he thinks of me that way, and his rants amount to J Jonah Jameson trying to tear down Spider-Man because he'll never be the man that Spidey is. The thing is, I really did used to be as bitter and vindictive as he is. I got better. He could too, but he won't. #SAD.

(Cerebus reference) Ok, now I'm...whatayacall...half finished.

Larry Hart said...

The snow that we're having here in the midwest is putting me in an early Christmas mood, which (in context) reminds me of Christmas movies.

The final scene of It's A Wonderful Life, hokey and cliche as it might be now, never fails to bring a tear to my eye (in a good sense).

Less tear-jerking but still cathartic is the climax of Miracle On Thirty-Fourth Street--the post office and the courtroom.

David Brin said...

"...while protecting you with our very lives..."

Notice one fundamental. He does not make the reciprocal promise. That says it all.

David Brin said...

onward

onward

Anonymous said...

Locumranch:

“Good luck with that because #NotMyProblem”

That explains why you like the movie "THX 1138". Because the hero of that movie is a selfish insensitive, who escaped and saved his own skin, leaving the bride at the mercy of the depravity of the insane insane government.
I never liked that movie If that is the future with which Donald Trump's followers dream, that should not be surprising; but surely, do not expect that imposing such fascism will be easy. There will always be heroes who fight against evil.

Winter7

Anonymous said...

And continuing with the previous thread; The best movie scene is when Casey Newton takes the pin after being released from prison and for a moment she can see Tomorrowland. The scene is powerful; in my opinion.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92tbsAfMYbw

Winter7

Hans said...

"In Your Eyes" Peter Gabriel in "Say Anything".